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Wellston, Missouri
Comprehensive Community Plan 

Wellston, Missouri
Wellston Sustainable Neighborhood Initiative (SNI)

Population 2,313
Households 785
Primary Schools 0

Starting Date 2001
Completion Date  2002

Key Terms
  Community Building, Community Development, Sustainable Development, Nonviolence, Community Engagement, Community Capacity Development.


Wellston, Missouri was one of the most thriving communities around St. Louis in the 1950s. It held a population of 41,532 with a large industrial sector holding the status of the largest employment center in the area. Today Wellston portrays no signs of its once prosperous industrial past. Littered with abandoned buildings, deteriorating infrastructure, high unemployment (19.8%, 2010), no educational facilities, rising crime, cases of lead poisoning, a rise of teenage pregnancy, environmental degradation, and a population of approximately 2,500, Wellston is one of the poorest cities in Missouri.

To combat the rising problems of Wellston, a citizen driven organization. St. Louis 2004, launched the Sustainable Neighborhoods program. The project became a collaboration among community, public and private organizations to improve the quality of life within some of the St. Louis region's most distressed communities, including Wellston. A 25 member Neighborhood Leadership Team (NLT) representing all sectors of the community was created. They worked with a team of experts known as the Consulting Resource Team (CRT). Under a comprehensive community framework developed by the CWBI’s precursor program, the National Institute for Community Empowerment, the CRT assisted initiative Stakeholders in adopting principles of resident-driven, sustainable, market driven, asset-based, and focusing on structural and institutional processes that could be barriers to community empowerment. The approach can be summarized as community renewal and neighborhood revitalization strategies.

The scope of this work was carried out in a three phase planning process. The first phase was research from various sources, including feedback from the Stakeholders. The second phase was to identify the issues most important to Wellstonians, the last phase was to divide the issues among CRT members to further investigate and assess. Below are the targeted successes:
•    Raise the incomes of Wellston's Residents
•    Improve education system in Wellston
•    Improve the quality of Wellston's neighborhoods
•     Establish a physical sense of community identity
•    Improve access to employment, goods and services
•    Improve the health and well being of Wellston's citizens
•    Enhance the image of Wellston and pride in its citizens
•    Stimulate local economic growth
•    Increase the social capital and improve community capacity